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Braunschweig Prize 2003 for Molecular Cancer Therapy

Ten years ago the medic began working with the compound Imatinib that works against chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and is commercially known as Glivec. Glivec blocks a protein that triggers the uncontrolled reproduction of white blood cells. "The name Brian Druker has become synonymous with a breakthrough in cancer therapy," said Braunschweig's mayor and chairman of the jury, Dr. Gert Hoffmann on the 8th of July after the vote of the council. Every year approximately 1700 people in Germany fall ill with CML. Some of the first patients to be treated with Glivec came from Germany.

Druker received his M.D. in 1981 from the University of California in San Diego. At Harvard Medical School he specialized in cancer research. Since 1993, Druker leads leukemia research at the Oregon Health & Science University Cancer Institute in Portland (USA). He is Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and JELDWEN Chair of Leukemia Research. On the 27th of October he will accept the Braunschweig prize at the congress "Life in Tomorrow's World."

The American cancer researcher Prof. Dr. Brian Druker will be recognised for his research into molecular cancer ther-apy with the 50,000 Euro Braunschweig Prize, the highest research prize from a German city.

The 48-year-old medic is regarded as the pathfinder of the first tailor-made pill for the treatment of cancer. Ten years ago, in collaboration with the pharmaceutical company No-vartis, he identified the compound Imatinib, which in the meantime has become commercially available as Glivec. In contrast to chemotherapy that attacks both healthy and diseased cells, Imatinib targets a single protein that trig-gers the uncontrolled growth of white blood cells in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Every year approximately 1700 people in Germany fall ill with this blood cancer.

A recent study involving 1006 patients, comparing Glivec to standard therapy for CML, led by Druker, had to be stopped early because
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Contact: Jrgen Sperber
juergen.sperber@braunschweig.de
49-531-470-2212
Stadtverwaltung Braunschweig
8-Jul-2003


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